It was that time of year for the Christmas present run to family in Norfolk and I always try to include one of my old favourite places to visit while I am there. Travelling one day and coming back the next didn't leave much time but with a later opening than usual, I booked into Blickling Hall for 3.30pm on one of their timed tickets thinking we could see the house and by the time we did, the sun would have gone down enough to see the lights in the garden.
The journey took a little longer than I had hoped but with half an hour at my Mum's for a cuppa, we set off rather excited to be seeing Blickling's lights and also to have some very rare time together.
On arrival we went straight into the house.
As usual it was beautifully dressed but this time with many of the decorations being made from paper.
These were amazing!!! Made from the same conservation paper used to wrap the collection in when they are stored. You really had to look properly to see what they were made from.
More paper craft.
This centre piece was really nice.
Butterflies and the bird cages also made from paper. These were very pretty.
My favourite room in the house. The stunning libary.
In the libary there were opened books placed on tables in the windows with the 12 days of Christmas sat on their open pages. Already the sun was starting to go down outside and the colours from the garden lights were coming through the window.
The Kitchen with its warm lights.
Upstairs you could see more paper craft but this time made from music sheets.
The work that must have gone into these paper wigs.
Children's clothes set out for Christmas.
Being a little too enthusiastic to get outside, it was still a little light when we had finished walking around the house so off to the Tea room for a mince pie and hot drink, as one does! :)
I loved the strips of lights on the grass also. It was like splashes of paint.
The trees were lit up beautifully.
A look back towards the house.
Not only were the views amazing from the top of the garden but hot drinks and refreshments were served there too, perfect to keep you warm on a chilly night.
An ideal time to reflect on the colourful views.
The walk back was not rushed, stopping every few feet to take a photo and to absorb the Christmas feeling.
Thinking that was it and to be honest, that would have been plenty but the show wasn't finished yet. You could see more lights in the distance and like children we could not wait to see them.
I loved the way these trees were lit up, so dramatic in that night light.
If you waited a while in one spot you could see the colours change,
This tree below was absolutely amazing. It was like children had gone mad with a few paint pots but it woked so well. It made me wonder what it would look like if all the trees on the cedar lawn at Charlecote were lit up in front of the Orangery with a Christmas tree in the middle. Can you imagine it? It would truly be magical.
In the Walled kitchen garden.
Last but not least the stunning front of Blickling Hall.
About a 3rd of the way up the front drive from the house is somewhere I have never been before. I have often seen people walk that way but usually with children in hand we are normally at Blickling to burn off some energy so often bypass the house and outbuildings however, I am so pleased we did not bypass this area that day. Walking under an arch of lights was one of the prettiest things I had seen in a long time, simple but clever. Not that I think whoever installed it would agree.
On the right side of the arch woven between the branches deep into the hedge, were beautiful colourful lights. It was so effective but without a tripod I just couldn't show you properly what it was like.
This was the inside of the hedge and it went quite deep into the hedge. So effective.
The outbuildings under the archway smelt so good. I so wish I had been hungry and not driving.
A last look back up the main drive as you walk back to the car.
An excellent few hours spent at Blickling hall with excellent company.